Updated: Mar 3, 2021
Building a good practice habit it not something kids innately have, it is something learned over time (and something we focus a lot on building during the first couple of years in lessons). While it can be very frustrating to have a child who does not practice regularly, there are simple things that can be done at home to help build good habits!
-Make sure the instrument is accessible so the student can go play at any time. -Immediately after lessons bring music books inside and set them up at the piano (At eye level, able to stand up on their own).
-Leave the book open to their current songs, on the music stand- this alone will help a ton! (You can find their homework pages in Encore's online practice chart) -Set aside the same time every day for them to "go play piano" (calling it playing instead of practicing can make a big difference!)
-For little ones just learning to read, sitting next to them and pointing to each note to help them follow along helps a lot! If they are having difficulty tracking their fingers and reading simultaneously they will resist practice. A little guidance goes a long way, and they will be independent before you know it! -Remind them each day, "ok, it's piano time- go play each of your songs 3 times and then you can ____ " (Following the piano playing with some type of reward is often good motivation!)
-Ask them to play old pieces that they have learned or memorized for the family! Have fun performance time- set up a stuffed animal audience, or Facetime grandma and grandpa. Sometimes kids need motivation when building the practice habit- stickers, a treat, some quality time with parents- over time the student will become self motivated and will know how to spend their practice time, and will no longer need these motivators. A little preparation, daily reminders, and positive reinforcement will go a long way!